With the trade deadline a few days away, the Toronto Blue Jays addressed an immediate need in their starting rotation acquiring Taijuan Walker.
For the past few weeks, the Blue Jays pitching staff has been running on fumes with their starters unable to provide enough quality innings. This move to bring in Walker should hopefully address that and it comes at an inexpensive price of a player to be named or cash considerations.
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The 28-year-old has made five starts for the Seattle Mariners this season, registering a 4.00 ERA with 25 strikeouts in 27 innings. Only Hyun-Jin Ryu has pitched more innings than Walker for the Blue Jays and only Matt Shoemaker and Tanner Roark have over 20 innings pitched.
With Shoemaker, Trent Thornton and Nate Pearson on the injured list, there was clearly a need for a dependable starter and at this point, the team should be considering other ways to add to that. Considering the team is in contention for a wild card spot, it only makes sense that they try to do what it can to make the team better now and going forward.
"“He’s got four pitches he’s getting swing and miss with,” Ross Atkins told reporters about adding Walker. “Another piece to our rotation we’re excited to add.”"
This week, the Blue Jays were linked to a couple of starters from the Pittsburgh Pirates who could still be options considering they need options now and going forward. This was something Atkins alluded to and said the team’s prospect depth makes it easier to do so.
Atkins made it clear they want to do what they can to prevent runs which makes sense considering the offence has been able to produce on a consistent basis. The bullpen has also been stable even without Ken Giles so any help they can get in the starting rotation should only help their relievers.
For all the grief this front office has received from the fanbase, they have put the team in a great position to make improvements. They might not be able to pull off a bigger trade unless there is a significant player that becomes available but having that flexibility doesn’t hurt.
What do you think about the Walker trade? What should the team consider doing next? Let us know in the comments below.